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4.4 out of 5 stars18
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 12 April 2014
I have read this book so many times I've lost count! Pretty Poison is an excellent tale, and very well written..

I found the characters well-rounded and their motivations understandable for the most part. The only thing I struggle to understand is Wade's dismissive treatment of Noah at the beginning, which seemed to serve little purpose. However, the rest of the story moves on and that day or so becomes less important. The characters' reactions to events were realistic and I think the human and shifter politics were well done; not that there was much of it in the book, just that the explanations worked well.

One of the best elements of this book, I think, is that the characters seem to be rational beings. There are so many shifter stories with ridiculous over-the-top characters who react in such an extreme way that it's great to finally read one where I can think 'yeah, I might have done that'. No insta-love. No 'I am alpha, everybody bow down'. I liked that Wade's motivations had absolutely nothing to do with Noah as an individual (it sucks for Noah, but makes the story so much more believable), but it did mean that Wade was willng to make Noah's life a misery if the mating didn't work out (biologically tied forever to somebody who could never offer more than just a warm body) or maybe he just hadn't thought that far ahead (I suspect this is the case).

I noticed one review where the dubcon element mentioned in the blurb is called into question. There is definitely dubcon, but the degree to which it should be considered as such is very much up to the reader. The dubcon happens once early on, where even though Noah didn't fight it, the fact that he didn't actually have a choice means that it could not possibly be consensual. It is impossible to consent where a choice doesn't exist, regardless of how turned on you feel. Noah even acknowledges this, and that is one of the strongest points of the story because most stories tend to gloss over the element of force, as though the one who has been forced is immune to the concept. Personally, I think the whole dubcon element was well done - it's definitely dubcon, not out-and-out rape - but I did find Wade's lack of acknowledgement of the position he put Noah in a bit worrying when they did get round to discussing their issues, but I think it was probably just not stated strongly enough. If the argument had gone just a little bit further, this review would have been 5*.

The ending was excellent - HEA, but not too saccharine. There is potential for more stories to be tacked on (maybe relating to another pack who has seen events unfold in Wade's pack, or a stray) but it's a great ending for a one-off story too. I suspect it will remain a one-off, but I'd buy a sequel without even reading the blurb.

This book certainly hits the spot and I definitely recommend it.
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on 1 August 2015
I have never read anything by this author before, but I'm so glad I gave this a try. I can't say I'm a massive fan of shifter/paranormal books, but on occasion I do dip my toe in, if the blurb sounds intriguing.

Well, this was definitely an atypical tale for this genre, with a vastly different take on the whole alpha wolf trope. Noah and Wade make such a hot and truly sexy couple together, with a strangely realistic relationship - considering it was a shifter one. Their story wasn't unlike that of a human relationship, with a lot of the same insecurities and mixed signals etc., that burden any blossoming romance.

Noah has suffered a great deal in his 20 years, both physically and emotionally, but he remains a very strong-willed young man, however he cannot deny his ever growing feelings of lust and love that develop for his mate Wade (who is Alpha to his very core). And as for Wade's feelings for Noah? I would say they are nearing more towards the obsessive, he feels such a strong pull to his little wolf. Which makes for one helluva HOT read!

But there is also a very strong moral message to this story which I loved, which is that even if you are not considered to be "perfect", that you can still be just as important and productive as any other member of society. This was such an engaging read, that I just wish had been a little longer.
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on 10 February 2014
This was a great shifter romance which I thoroughly enjoyed. The alpha shifter was powerful and intimidating, having to learn how to adapt to someone who was unused to his culture. And Noah was no pushover, yet smart enough to know when to compromise for the safety of his family. There are some things about the shifter culture that I was unclear about and would have loved to understand in more detail (for instance the having children bit). Hope for more in this series.
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on 25 December 2013
If you want to read something sexy and pass the time this is the book for you. With a romantic twist and a family that is quite strange in my opinion.
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on 1 February 2015
The best Kari Gregg that I have read so far, I just sucked it up like a sponge - every provocative, filthy, delectable page! Questions that I needed to ask, were left unanswered and even that didn't deter me from loving this story, 5* all the way from me.
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on 3 February 2014
Pretty hot and an enjoyable read ;)
starts sexy and gets sweet...
I will definitely be trying more of this author's writing.
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This is an excellent tale that drew me in so much that I read it in one go. In some ways, it is a typical shifter tale with an extremely alpha pack-leader, but what I liked is that it wasn't all about the 'call' that shifters are so ruled by, and that emotions, needs and wants came into it too. Also, unlike in most shifter tales, there wasn't the bog-standard, 'shift and all wounds/damage will be healed'.

Wade, alpha of the pack from which Noah's family fled following his accident, is a new-thinker type of guy, but based on their past experiences, Noah's family thinks he'll be in danger in his new pack. Noah ends up having to mate with Wade due to a pact between their families, whereby the pack leader would mate with a child of Noah's family, but as his sister fled to marry a human, Noah is to be the sacrificial lamb.

The sex is hot and frequent, but I didn't get the dubcon element that the blurb refers to. I read many shifter/were/vampire/paranormal tales and an alpha is always dominant, and most of the time, the sex is hot, hard and heavy, overruling everything else - which was pretty much the case here. I did like that Wade realised that Noah was a virgin and that he did try to make things easier on him, but that at the same time, he was driven to take he who was rightfully his. Had the author written the tale any other way, Wade would have come across as too soft and non-alpha, which would have spoiled the tale - and, Noah didn't reject him or object.

I liked that Noah didn't get miraculously cured by being forced to shift, but I did like that he started to embrace and appreciate his inner wolf, and that his life changed for the better in every single way, after mating with Wade. Noah was a bit stubborn, though, which did make for some conflict, but it was realistic and relevant.

Best of all, this tale ends in the start of a HEA, one that I appreciated, but some traditionalists may not appreciate it. I can't say more without spoiling the tale, but let's just say the leads end up talking about 'non-trad role reversal' and a future with white picket fences et al.

This is a 5* Keeper of a tale.
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on 30 December 2014
Enjoyed this, included some aspects of shifter m/m romances that I don't often see. Sex scenes were incredibly hot too, I especially enjoyed their first time together. A nice, enjoyable read :)
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on 15 December 2013
Loved this. I have favourites of kari gregg- I Omega, Collared and this reminds me of those. I especially like the fact is a story about a shifter who is disabled and the trials he faced. I love the fact his strong alpha wants him any way ( so sue me I like romance). When you have a favourite author it's always great to get a new book and have it fulfill the promise of a really good read. More please!
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on 1 December 2015
I have read this book a few times, it is such a delightful read, and the characters you just fall in love with.
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